Chanukah Kindness

The fourth night of Chanukah is marked for us by the word, “kindness.” The “LOVE” candle lights Joy, Peace, Patience and now Kindness…

The moment I hear this word I think back to a song from years ago that Leslie Phillips sang and the words say, “It’s your kindness that leads us to repentance oh Lord…”

It truly is amazing to think that we have a GOD who loves us so much that He will carry ALL our worries and sins. HIS KINDNESS should lead us close to Him, and then we SHARE that kindness with others.

What happens when someone treats you with kindness? When you know you have done something wrong and the person still treats you with kindness, your life is changed. When you take the time to treat someone else with kindness, both your lives are changed. Acts of kindness are a way to share HIS LOVE with those we come in contact with. Kindness can CHANGE the world we live in!

What does the Word of God say about KINDNESS?

In Genesis 40:14 But remember me when it goes well with you; and show me kindness, please; and mention me to Pharaoh, so that he will release me from this prison. (CJB)

This is the story of Joseph. He was in prison and had just interpreted the dreams of the cupbearer and baker. He asked them to “show him kindness.” Joseph requested that they remember him when they went before the king. Joseph’s kindness was repaid to him.

As I was researching verses, I found that many translations have exchanged the word “kindness” for the word “grace.” Here is an example:

Isaiah 54:8 in the NIV says: In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the Lord your Redeemer.

The Complete Jewish Bible says: I was angry for a moment and hid my face from you; but with everlasting grace I will have compassion on you,” says Adonai your Redeemer.

This happened in many verses throughout the Old Testament. It shows that God’s GRACE was there throughout the time that many believe laws abounded.

Many believe that the Old Testament is only filled with God’s judgement when they didn’t follow those laws. Many people read the Old Testament and think that GRACE began when Jesus came. This is something we need to reconsider. GRACE was shown to the Children of Israel many times. God should have, and could have, completely destroyed the nation. They walked away from His TRUTH and were not following what HE desired them to obey. By showing them GRACE and KINDNESS, HE allowed them to LIVE.

Through this line, our Messiah was born and now we really have a reason to show KINDNESS and extend GRACE to others. OUR sins and wrongdoings should cause us to be destroyed. It is only because of the GRACE of GOD and HIS KINDNESS towards us, that when we REPENT, HE turns to us and receives us.

Our ministry, Touched by Grace, says that God’s GRACE:

God

Rescues

Adopts

Completes

Equips

us for HIS SERVICE. God really does care about His children and He will do whatever it takes to HELP THEM SUCCEED. Once they are taken care of, HE wins because they share that KINDNESS with others.

What does the New Testament teach about kindness? Most of us know many verses that explain we are simply required to “be kind.”

Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with feelings of compassion and with kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  (CJB)

2 Corinthians 6:6 We commend ourselves by our purity, knowledge, patience and kindness; by the Ruach HaKodesh; by genuineness of love (CJB)

Titus 3:4 But when the kindness and love for mankind of God our Deliverer was revealed, (CJB)

Clearly, every community of FAITH in the New Testament was responding out of KINDNESS to those Holy Spirit brought to them. This was done because (as it says in Titus) the “kindness and love for mankind was revealed…” When the communities of faith did NOT respond in kindness, Paul challenged them.

As we are entering Thanksgiving season, prepare your heart now with KINDNESS. Kindness that will lead you to repentance and LOVE for your fellow communities of faith. Kindness that shows HIS GRACE to others. KINDNESS that leads others to HIM.

Since Chanukah is known as the Festival of Lights, we can also focus on verses about LIGHT:

I John 1:7 But if we are walking in the light, as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of his Son Yeshua purifies us from all sin. (CJB)

When we WALK with the LIGHT, than HIS GRACE cleanses and we show KINDNESS to others. Take time to show KINDNESS today and be HIS LIGHT.

Love and blessings,

Rose Horton

Listen to the song by Leslie Phillips below
 https://youtu.be/t5aFoxyrL4E

Chanukah Joy

Chanukah Joy…

If you remember what I wrote last week, you will know that the LOVE candle is lit every night. This candle lights the other candles. On the first night of Chanukah, you light the “servant candle” and then use it to light the JOY candle.

JOY! So many verses about JOY. Where does a person start?

Ecclesiastes 9:7 So go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a happy heart, for God has already accepted your deeds. (CJB)

Nehemiah 8:10 Then he said to them, “Go, eat rich food, drink sweet drinks, and send portions to those who can’t provide for themselves; for today is consecrated to our Lord. Don’t be sad, because the joy of Adonai is your strength.” (CJB)

Psalm 47:2 Clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with cries of joy! (CJB)

John 16:22 So you do indeed feel grief now, but I am going to see you again. Then your hearts will be full of joy, and no one will take your joy away from you. (CJB)

Philemon 1:7 For your love has given me much joy and encouragement. Brother, you have refreshed the hearts of God’s people. (CJB)

JOY, based on these verses, can be something we experience personally, or it can be something that someone else feels based on something we have done (see the verse from Philemon).

I don’t want to base my actions on what I feel. Feelings will come and go. It is my personal belief that JOY is much deeper than happiness. JOY, in my opinion, can be something present in our lives whether we “feel happy” or not. Therefore, JOY should be something that we carry in us always.

IF the JOY of Adonai is our strength (Nehemiah), and we BELIEVE and TRUST that Adonai is WHO He says He is, than we should have JOY no matter the circumstances around us.

This is a struggle. It is so easy to get caught in the negative this world spreads. It is so easy to compare ourselves to others and than lose heart because we don’t live like they do. It is so easy to “live in the moment” and feelings that we forget WHOSE we are and how HE wants us to live.

As we prepare for Chanukah and understand HIS LOVE for us, we should be able to stop and CARRY JOY. As we are HIS LIGHT to the world in need, they should see HIS JOY inside of us. Even when frustrating moments come, our JOY should be apparent to those we meet because HIS strength is inside of us.

How do you share JOY??? I don’t believe we have to act all crazy or out of control. We simply need to smile and show laughter and love. Sincerity goes a long way when you are with others. Paul felt “refreshed” from the JOY Philemon shared with him. I like that… we need to leave people feeling “refreshed” when we share HIS JOY to those around us.

Because Chanukah is the Festival of Lights, here is a verse about LIGHT:

John 12:36 While you have the light, put your trust in the light, so that you may become people of light.” Yeshua said these things, then went off and kept himself hidden from them. (CJB)

When you TRUST HIS LIGHT, YOU become a LIGHT. Today, bring JOY and REFRESHMENT by being HIS LIGHT to those around you.

Love and blessings,

Rose Horton

Chanukah Love

Chanukah… Known as the Festival of Lights or the Feast of Dedication (the Temple was rededicated). Our family celebrates this holiday even though it is not a “biblical holiday” commanded in the Torah. It is mentioned in the book of John, which explains to us that Jesus was in Solomon’s Colonnade during the “Feast of Dedication” (see John 10:22-23).

Our family chooses to connect the Fruits of the Spirit when we light the candles. We began this years ago when a Jewish friend who believed in Jesus (she has since passed away) taught us how she ties the two together. We thought it was a beautiful way to weave these teachings into the idea of Chanukah, which is the understanding that we are to “be a light.”

I have chosen to blog about each “fruit” for the next nine weeks. The plan is to end around Chanukah time and then let you decide if you would like to join our family in lighting the candles each night.

If you count the fruits of the Spirit there are nine. Chanukah only has eight nights. How does one bring the connection?

Technically the “shemash” candle, or the “servant” candle, which we call the “love” candle, is lit every night. This is the candle that is set apart, or higher, than all the others. For those who believe in Jesus as their Messiah, this candle represents Him. Jesus was the ultimate LOVE sacrifice we all know. Jesus was the ultimate SERVANT we all have been taught about.

This candle is the one that lights all the others. If we have Jesus as the Lord of our LIFE, than HIS LIGHT should shine through us to everyone we meet. HIS LOVE should be the source of ALL we do. HIS LOVE will bring the fruits of the Spirit into our lives.

Here are verses about LOVE:

Isaiah 54:10 For the mountains may leave and the hills be removed, but my grace will never leave you, and my covenant of peace will not be removed,”

says Adonai, who has compassion on you. (CJB)

In the ESV the translation uses the word, “love” instead of grace:

For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed,

but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you. (ESV)

John 15:12 This is my command: that you keep on loving each other just as I have loved you.

Ephesians 4:2 Always be humble, gentle and patient, bearing with one another in love, (CJB)

All three of these verses demonstrate to us that God’s ultimate plan and intent was for community to LOVE one another. HE shows us His love, like He clearly states in the verse from Isaiah. Then He sent His Son, Jesus, who demonstrated the ultimate LOVE sacrifice by dying for us and commanded us to LOVE others as HE loves us. The command to “love each other” carried over into the teachings of Paul because Paul was educated from the Torah. He knew the desire of God’s heart was for everyone to “love the Lord your God with all your heart… and love your neighbor as yourself.”

I believe that throughout the whole Bible there is a teaching of LOVE. Even in the middle of the judgement and wars that God allows, His ULTIMATE plan and DESIRE is for LOVE to win. When we show HIS LOVE, HE WINS.

Love is shared and shown to others in many different ways. We can bake a cake, or change a tire. We can give a hug, or enjoy a cup of coffee and listen. Find ways to SHARE HIS LOVE with those you meet. Think outside the box and be a BLESSING to someone. By doing this you will let HIS LIGHT shine through you.

Genesis 1:3-4 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and God divided the light from the darkness. (CJB)

God saw that the “light was good.” Choose today to be HIS LIGHT and LOVE to those around you.

 

Love and blessings,

Rose Horton